Community Will Get Chance To Talk Sidewalks

BERLIN – While the Flower St. sidewalk engineering report
is not yet completed, the Mayor and Council decided Monday night to hold a
community meeting to discuss the design, once it is available.

The meeting, the date of which is dependent on the
delivery of the engineering report and design, will be held at the Flower St.
Multi-purpose Building and will be open to the entire community.

Mayor Tom Cardinale told the Berlin Council at this week’s
council meeting that consultant Ed White had recommended meeting individually
with the affected property owners instead of conducting a community-wide
meeting.

Cardinale disagreed with the consultant.

“I was going to hold a community meeting and invite
everyone,” he said.

The mayor said he would defer the decision to the
district’s council members, Elroy Brittingham and Dean Burrell.

“I would suggest we have the county-wide meeting and
invite the public,” Burrell said.

Burrell went on to suggest that the town contact the folks
affected individually as well.

“We can do that,” Cardinale said, either by letter or a
visit.

The meeting will take place a few weeks after the
engineering report is completed.

The design is nearly finished, said town Administrator
Linda Bambary. Currently, staff is working on checking and confirming
easements. On at least one property, there is no easement, she said. She
expects the engineering report to be delivered in May.

Typically, sidewalks are simply constructed, without a
specific design or engineering.

The surveyor on the project suggested having a design and
engineering report done when he saw that telephone poles, trees, and manhole
covers could pose issues to the project. Stormwater, which currently drains
into nearby fields and yards, will also have to be dealt with.

The project could break ground as early as August or
September and should be completed before winter weather interferes with work.

The project is being funded through a state community
development block grant of $183,000.

“I think the contracting market has cooled somewhat so we
should get bids,” said Bambary.

The
sidewalk will border 3,369 feet of the south side of the street. Flower Street
residents have been calling for sidewalks for decades. 

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